Can we get on the same page?
Three pieces in the most recent New England Journal of Medicine deal with an impending problem in health care. A shortage of primary care clinicians is predicted as the population ages and millions gain insurance in 2014. Since the United States will have insufficient numbers of primary care doctors, relying on nurse practitioners to provide services appears to be a solution. However, many of our current physicians and nurse practitioners, even though working side by side, perceive they inhabit different universes. There is a pressing need for dialogue and collaboration between physicians, nurse practitioners, and the public. Otherwise, all will end up unhappy.